As we approach the middle of August, we still have no release date on the 26th expansion for EverQuest.
But with 20 years of expansions, and 25 expansions to work with, we certainly have plenty of data to make some educated guesses.
I looked at all the release dates for all 25 of the expansions for the last 20 years. I considered things like day of the week, level increases, frequency of expansion release and number of expansions released per year. Weight was also given more heavily to recent releases versus released 10 to 20 years ago.
Using that data, I’ve made an educated guess on the release date of EverQuest’s 26th expansion.
Our forecast for the next expansion release is : Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
THIS IS ONLY AN EDUCATED GUESS.
But let me tell you how I arrived at that date.
Tuesday is Probable
First, let’s start with the relatively easy part. The Day Of The Week. Of all 26 expansions and original launch, 20 of them were released on a Tuesday. That’s over 3/4 of the expansions (including original game launch).
The latest 2 expansions were released on a Tuesday.
However, confidence isn’t as high as I’d like it. In 2012 to 2016, the release days were sporadic, including a Saturday (what?) and several Wednesdays.
If I had to pick a runner up day, it would be Wednesday.
December is Likely
Since the “One expansion per year” release schedule, the expansions have averaged 1 release every 367.8 days. (almost exactly a year, not a bad track record).
The longest time between expansions is 420 days (Seeds of Destruction to Underfoot) followed by 403 days (Call of the Forsaken and The Darkened Sea).
The expansions with level increases do seem to have a higher period between expansions. This just makes sense as a level increase expansion likely requires more development time.
Of the 25 expansions, 20% were released in December (5 of 25). November actually has a higher frequency of expansion releases (6 of 25), but due to the level increase nature of the expansion, and 365-ish day release schedule, we’ll err on a longer development schedule, rather than shorter.
Interestingly, here are a few facts regarding what months have seen expansion releases:
- No expansions have ever been released in January, April, May, June, July or August. (I would venture a guess that 20 years of data concludes that video games are less played in warmer months, and more played in winter months).
- Since 2007 (12 years ago), no expansion has been released outside of October to December.
- March only saw the original release and Ruins of Kunark.
- February is an odd outlier. 5 of 25 expansions were released in this month. But outside of Original and RoK, no other months from January to August saw a release except February. And it’s a significant percentage of the releases, though, mainly in the earlier expansions. Expansions are likely to be released in the last 4 months of the year.
|March||1 expansion + original|
Using December and Tuesday as our guide, that narrows the field a bit. It leaves the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st.
We’ll eliminate the 24th and 31st off the top. Those are holidays or close enough to the holidays that it makes launching an expansion unlikely.
As I weight the development time needed pretty heavily, we’ll need as late a date as possible, leaning towards the 10th or 17th. As I feel the 17th is likely too close to the holiday, and also right before the likely patch day for December (not on /calendar yet). I’ve settled on the 10th.
Also, most of the release dates fall toward the middle of the month. An average of the release dates gives the 16th or 17th.
Other likely dates?
Ok. It’s all just educated guesses. So what are some of the runners up?
Runner Up : January 14th
Sticking with our Tuesday data, I think January 14th would be the next likely time frame, despite the overwhelming data having NO expansion ever released in January.
Also of note is that no calendar year has ever passed without an expansion being released. If this were the case, 2019 would be the first year in EverQuest’s history in which no expansion was released
2nd Runner Up : November 19th
Despite the need for development time, I think an earlier ambitious release date may actually be possible, but at this point, not as likely.
There is a numerical case for November, and extrapolating a date from the previous methods, the 19th seems a candidate.
When is an announcement expected?
The two previous expansions both had the official announcements in mid to late September. I feel that is a likely scenario for this expansion as well.
Can we expect a producers letter in late September with a complete expansion announcement?
The Bottom Line
When it all boils down to it, there is no formula to the way things happen in life. Production and development schedules are no different.
Larger corporate involvement, other game releases, the economy and a wide variety of other factors may heavily influence more heavily than the minor data we’ve compiled here.
It’s certainly a fun exercise. But it may be an exercise in futility.
It’s all we have until the next announcement!
|Expansion||Day of The Week||Release Date||Days Since Previous Release|
|Original EverQuest||Tuesday||March 16, 1999||—|
|The Ruins of Kunark||Friday||March 31, 2000||381|
|The Scars of Velious||Tuesday||December 5, 2000||249|
|The Shadows of Luclin||Tuesday||December 4, 2001||364|
|The Planes of Power||Tuesday||October 22, 2002||322|
|The Legacy of Ykesha||Monday||February 24, 2003||125|
|Lost Dungeons of Norrath||Tuesday||September 9, 2003||197|
|Gates of Discord||Tuesday||February 10, 2004||154|
|Omens of War||Tuesday||September 14, 2004||217|
|Dragons of Norrath||Tuesday||February 15, 2005||154|
|Depths of Darkhollow||Tuesday||September 13, 2005||210|
|Prophecy of Ro||Tuesday||February 21, 2006||161|
|The Serpent’s Spine||Tuesday||September 19, 2006||210|
|The Buried Sea||Tuesday||February 13, 2007||147|
|Secrets of Faydwer||Tuesday||November 13, 2007||273|
|Seeds of Destruction||Tuesday||October 21, 2008||343|
|Underfoot||Tuesday||December 15, 2009||420|
|House of Thule||Tuesday||October 12, 2010||301|
|Veil of Alaris||Tuesday||November 15, 2011||399|
|Rain of Fear||Wednesday||November 28, 2012||379|
|Call of the Forsaken||Tuesday||October 8, 2013||314|
|The Darkened Sea||Saturday||November 15, 2014||403|
|The Broken Mirror||Wednesday||November 18, 2015||368|
|Empires of Kunark||Wednesday||November 16, 2016||364|
|Ring of Scale||Tuesday||December 12, 2017||391|
|The Burning Lands||Tuesday||December 11, 2018||364|
Bolded expansions are Level Increase expansions.
From 2003 to 2007, 2 expansions were produced per year (Legacy of Ykesha through Secrets of Faydwer).
After Secrets of Faydwer in 2007, the development team went to a 1 expansion per year schedule.
|Expansions Per Year|
And just to get you excited for Number 26…